How can we bring back the episode community? Is it possible?

The Episode Community
I really think episode is a very unique and fun medium to create stories and make our characters/visions come to life without needing to have a budget to create something like a short film or tv show. In fact, I feel like it can actually help develop a real creative directing style similar to that needed in the production of a movie/script. It’s not just fun to create the stories as a writer, but it’s fun to read them (obviously). I stopped reading episode for a few years when I became a creator (mostly cause I got too anxious reading stories that were better than mine, luckily I don’t have that issue anymore as they just inspire me) but now that I read again, I can say with confidence that getting invested in characters through episode stories is just as fun as creating them.

With that being said, I still see a much smaller community than episode once had… and I have to wonder- what could be changed within episode to fix this issue? I’d love to hear y’all’s ideas- who knows? Maybe these suggestions could actually be considered and even better, change the trajectory episode is going in.

Episode app changes
Ads and Gems
Maybe the issue lies in the user experience. Even if that isn’t the only issue or main issue, it is 100% an issue. As someone who has gotten back into reading episode stories, I have been deterred from going into the app to read (even if I’m really into a story) because of the ADS. And past that, the gems being very prevalent throughout all aspects of the app to the point where you would have to spend copious about of money to skip ads, make gem choices, and support authors. I understand that episode needs to get their bag, but I can’t help but wonder if there are better ways to do this that doesn’t isolate the average person. I’ve seen some apps offer an option to watch a series of ads to earn tokens, or in this case, gems- so maybe that could be a less in-your-face option to be able to save up gems and not have to worry about watching the ads when you just want to get to the next chapter. Honestly, it’s hard to find a solution because no matter what, ads are going to be a factor episode needs to make money to continue operations. What do you think?

Episode Originals vs Community Stories
I’ve noticed that episode has made it harder to find community stories, and also has begun pushing originals a lot more. I think you have to read a certain amount of originals to even access community stories with a new account? Correct me if I’m wrong. But I think the issue with this is obvious. Making it harder for community authors to be noticed isn’t motivating at all and doesn’t reflect the kind of quality and creativity you will get in a community story vs an original. Honestly, the only time I’ve ever read originals (excluded the older ones that slapped) is when I’m unfortunately laughing at the absurdity and generic nature of some of them. I think episode just needs to bring back the community tab and make more of an effort to produce quality stories on their end. There are ways to draw people into the drama and romance without doing what they’re doing now.

How Episode Presents itself
In terms of digital footprints, episode hasn’t left the greatest ones. Their ads promoting the app are mostly cringe and sometimes straight up gross. It feels cheap and desperate and makes the entire app look like a joke. Simple advertising solution: literally take an interesting section from a story, make it out of context to leave people curious, and just allow the ad viewer to tap on the screen as if they’re reading a story. When they’re about to get to the juicy part, cut it off. Cheap? Maybe a little. But at least it would be a genuine preview of what the app is with a quality story that reflects the better parts of the app. Give people a chance to be interested, showcase great quality so the writers of episode originals are more incentivized to create great quality. Maybe even showcase sections of community stories? That one’s a long shot, but it would be a great way to show your community that you care.

When Episode was Relevant
I think episode was most relevant when the Demi Lovato: Path to Fame story came out, or maybe that’s just when I was most invested. But even though thats what made episode popular, I don’t necessarily think that means they need to try to re-live that in order to get a boost. I think we need a new fresh original take on how to at least re-gain the audience episode once had. This section isn’t so much a solution as it is a recommendation to episode to not try to repeat what used to work- I feel like that strategy was relying on outside titles and not so much on regular original stories created just for episode.

In Conclusion
Episode needs to make some changes if they don’t want to alienate their readers and writers. I joined the community many years ago, and the size of people willing to participate has cut in half, maybe even more. I love the idea that we can give people an opportunity to let their imagination turn to stories with characters that readers become genuinely invested in, just as they might with a mainstream movie or tv-show. I’d love to see this app continue to grow in the right direction, it just needs the right solutions.

Let me know your thoughts, this is definitely up for discussion and debate!




Honestly, the only reason I’m still on the app is because I’m writing a story, otherwise it would’ve been off my phone years ago. The Ads are just unbelievably bad (misleading gameplay) and some are highly inappropriate (advertising gambling).


There are a number of things that could be done to try to bring things back to what they were. But I don’t believe Episode would be willing to do any of them.

First, they need to acknowledge how destructive some of their choices have been to the overall health of the app. Better, less so bad they’re hilarious, ads promoting the app might help. But even if you fix that, once they get the app, new users are forced to read Original stories that immediately try to gouge you for gems/money, and many of them shame you in the story if you don’t capitulate to this demand. I can’t think of anyone who would take that first impression and say “more, please.” If anything, this shows the lack of respect they have for the young audience they’re trying to attract. Speaking of which…

Second, Episode needs to make a choice (the irony of which I find hilarious). Either they need to be a 13+ app with guidelines in line with the MPAA PG-13 rating they claim exists but doesn’t and promote stories from a wide range of genres and topics, or they need to be a Romance focused 18+ app. It can’t be both. They want to be 13+ because that’s a wider audience to court. But they’ve made it abundantly clear they’re trying to attract Romance readers because of that genre’s popularity. What they don’t seem to understand, or want to acknowledge, is that those readers don’t want chaste/sanitized romance. They want what they find on all the other romance reading apps that are 18+. By trying to have their cake and eat it too, they’re not appealing to anyone.

Third, Episode really needs to dial back the gem gouging. If they want to cater to whales that can afford it, that’s their choice. But in doing so, they’re leaving a lot of money on the table. If you pay 29 gems for a choice and get 30 additional seconds of story that amount to nothing (as is typically the case), you’re not likely to do it again. However, if you only paid 5 gems, you may feel like it wasn’t much of a loss and try again on some other choice. Some might say, “just make the 29 gem price tag worth it.” To which I say, how much something it worth varies greatly depending on the person. And at a time when inflation and high prices are a concern for many, especially the cash strapped teenagers the app seeks to target, it would behoove Episode to acknowledge that their gem prices might be too damn high.

Lastly, Episode needs to stop treating community stories and authors as the red headed step children they never wanted. People prefer community stories to originals for a variety of reasons. Some originals are quite good (shocking to hear from me, I know). But as a whole, there’s a number of things that turn off readers. Anyone else remember the story that made you fall in love with your unrepentant abuser? Or the one where you had to whore yourself out to your landlord to stay in your apartment (until they changed it due to community outrage). Rather than try to learn from community stories to improve the quality of the originals, they put as many barriers in place as possible to keep people from discovering what they have to offer. They started the Commissioned Author program, which on it’s face is a great idea. Pay successful community authors to write new originals. It’s an idea that should work. But the problem is that there are requirements placed on these stories, such as X number of gem choices per chapter at X insane price, that make them just as unappealing as all the other originals. Worse still, it could harm the reputation of the author when their loyal readers are expecting something similar to their other community stories, only to get a story constrained by a checklist of requirements that people don’t like and weren’t expecting.

I could go on and on, but I think this a long enough for now. :laughing:


As someone who has gotten back into episode within the past month:

1, Originals are loaded with gem choices that either go nowhere or will not give you a simple kiss in a romance. Also in the soulmate game, if you don’t pick a gem choice your partner gets sexually assaulted which is just…WHY!!!

2, the ui basicly demands you to see the originals, with no space to see the community stories. The UI is also trash for other reasons for both writers and readers, but I won’t go into that here.

3, they are trying so hard to milk your money out of your wallet. The invasiveness of it backfires for me.


Episode should really hire more writers to make new and original stories. I’m tired of seeing the same type of plot for every story.

I don’t personally mind using gems on community stories because they never charge a lot. so episode should step up their game and start lowering their gems. Especially weird ones like choosing to buy gems for a dress on their wedding day or wear a dirty jacket for free. (???)

And they should definitely get rid of ads. I feel like it just makes people not wanna read any stories.


I’m gonna choose the wear a dirty jacket and sweats over a pretty dress for 30 gems :joy: They set up the choices like that to try to force people to spend gems - the same way they set other choices where the only way you get a good outcome is to spend gems or get shamed for choosing the free option. :roll_eyes: It’s the reason I don’t read originals. I’ve speed tapped through a few but other than that, nope.


I totally agree. Honestly, I think some Episode stories have changed my life.

This is exactly how I felt too!
I was like ‘ahhhh everyone is so much better than me, I don’t deserve any reads blah blah blah’
Now I’m like, ‘ooh I could do something like this.’ But tbh mostly I’m just lazy.

Everyone talks about how this community isn’t as popular anymore, but no one talks about why or how we can change that.

This is so true. I hadn’t thought about it that way.

Don’t get me started on those freakin’ ads. Oh my gosh.

I’ve seen so many people who have made fun of Episode based on all the crap and the idiotic ad’s and I’m like, ‘If only you knew how many awesome, intelligent, worth-while stories there are, you would get everyone to download Episode.’


fr i miss the old ambient and community it was so different (idk how to explain it haha)


This made me chuckle lmaoo :sob: back in the day, discussion posts like these would have like dozens of replies within an hour. Sad to see how quiet/obsolete the forum has become. I enjoyed reading through this thread though, lots of feedback that hopefully will be taken into consideration :blob_hearts:

1 Like

It used to be full of fun people who motivated and helped each other, it felt like a community. But now there’s troll accounts, among other people who seem to enjoy stirring the pot and creating drama for the fun of it … it doesn’t feel like a community here anymore. It’s really sad. That’s not to say there aren’t still kind and nice people around but I feel like they don’t really interact the way they used to because the vibe has just… changed here.


I wish the Episode team would take these kind of posts into serious consideration, because the uniqueness of this platform brings so much creative marketing and UI/UX strategies they could implement if they just dedicated the time and effort. Now, it’s like Episode is surviving off of the dedication of long-term loyal users and creators (which is continuously decreasing), rather than consistently gaining traction to new users.

I honestly think Episode’s product was ahead of its time, allowing users to actually interact with the characters in a plot and freely create/publish their own stories. I totally agree with Episode’s poor reputation point mentioned above, because the Episode ads I see are mainly like “oh no, my boss is flirting with me what do I do” or “the hot bad boy is looking at me omg” type of clickbait posters that (as mentioned above) seem very cheap and not reflective of the actually quality content Episode does have. It’s just so disappointing to see because there’s so many amazing stories on the platform, and that the Episode team doesn’t seem to understand that promoting this instead is the key to improve their brand image. I’m serious, give a group of users like me a few months to actually work on this and we could bring so much more traction and love to the Episode platform again.

The community stories on the platform are the actual gems that Episode has but for whatever i-seriously-don’t-get-it reason, is just ignoring and only spotlighting their originals instead. What if the cheap ads for Episode were instead trailers for selected community stories have really interesting plots and storylines? Movies, Netflix shows, and even Webtoons implement this very simple but effective strategy. Like all these, Episode is also a storytelling platform—so why don’t they implement this strategy too on their main social media platforms? Again, there’s just SOO many ways Episode could literally gain more users and make more profit in the long-run (yes, you can actually make profit other than mining the pockets of users with ridiculous gem choices). Why is it that only the users, and not the platform developers, seem to see this so clearly?

This post literally awakened the frustrations I have about Episode. In the end, we’re all here because we enjoy platform but just want it to be better. EPISODE TEAM PLEASE listen to what the community has to say :melting_face:


They think they can make more money by having people read their gem gouging originals. Once people discover community stories they tend to never go back. And though most community stories do have gems at this point, it’s not in the same numbers that Episode wants. Episode doesn’t seem to understand that 100 people making a 5 gem choice is better than 10 people making a 50 gem choice. Community stories also tend to not manipulate or shame the reader in to making gem choices like originals do. It’s essentially “don’t look at that better, cheaper product!”

I think this is the crux of the problem. Their business strategy is clearly focused on increasing profits as much as possible in the short term. They’re not interesting in a long term investment for a better pay out. If they were, they’d stop doing anything and everything they can to chase away new users. :unamused:

1 Like

This is a great question. In my opinion:

  1. The best, most popular time for Episode probably was around that Demi Lovato story. I don’t remember if that was before or after Mean Girls, which was when I enjoyed Episode the most. Today, I don’t see this tie-in concept with Episode Originals.

The solution: Partnerships & market on TIK TOK with INFLUENCERS. Especially if you can find fashion/programming/artist/creators, women who intersect two of those areas. Get these small creators to partner with an official Episode writer to make a story around them.

Episode is so cool because it involves fashion, programming, art, storytelling, and it’s a predominantly female space. You don’t need to get the influencer with 10million followers like when they had Demi Lovato but a few creative popular ones would intersect the audiences and grow the app like crazy.

  1. Ads need to go. Sounds crazy but hear me out. I play a lot of mobile games, like a LOT. There are basically 2 types of mobile games: games you pay for upfront, or “pay to remove ads”, or they are on the Apple Arcade. Basically you pay a fee at one point and then you just enjoy the game ad-free. The second type harasses you with ads every five minutes.

Why do I play the second games? Episode is one, and also a lot of mindless puzzle games that I enjoy. But here’s the thing. When it shows me the ads the ads are for other games, I get curious and download that mindless game, delete the original game. I play the new game for a while until I get an ad for a new game then I delete and the cycle repeats.

I have been thinking about how stupid and ineffective the “advertisement ecosystem” is around mobile games. Mobile games with ads are effectively pushing you to try out A DIFFERENT PRODUCT of WHAT YOU ARE ALREADY USING. Think about how stupid this is: if you were eating Cheerios and the cereal box had an ad for Fruit Loops. Or you’re using your iphone and Siri randomly says “HAVE YOU CONSIDERED BUYING AN ANDROID?” If every time you got in your Kia, the radio told you Ford is a better car.

It’s so stupid. They should be trying to keep me on the app. Not pushing me to try new games. Offer more/better/cheaper/temporary subscription options, and ways to pay them. I’ll never end my Apple Arcade subscription, because I have been playing some games on there for years. And I have some random comfy games like Fairy Bakery I spent $ on and I’ll never delete, I occasionally open and drop a few $. But Episode and the other mobiles are at constant risk of deletion, AND I don’t pay for them!

  1. It just has to be reiterated about the fashion. I think this is one of the best aspects of Episode but I don’t hear it discussed much. How cool would Chanel Story be or buy a limited edition pack of Gucci items you can wear in any story? If that’s too couture and they won’t partner aim for hipper but lesser known brands. I should have a closet IN the app I can choose from across stories then I’d be way more willing to pay 100 gems for a dress that isn’t just going to be in 2 scenes.

Just my thoughts!


I agree about the partnerships! Their collaboration with the Dolan twins was really successful and brought many new people into the community and it was growing really fast at the time